Womanhood, or Whatever

17-year-old Hazel Cills took a turn at laying out the rules of femininity in an article for Rookie magazine called How To Be A Lady.

She tackles all the major issues which a face a young girl on the threshold of Life As A Lady: hygiene, etiquette, dating, fashion and education.
The article is peppered with gems of "feminine maturity", such as:

Presentation is a key part of becoming a respectable woman. Your future depends on your ability to be beautiful.

School may seem tedious and uninteresting to you because you are a girl, but it can have its benefits. You learn important subjects like writing, baking, and sewing.  

Now that you are a woman, it is time to start thinking about the most important aspect of your life: finding a husband. But before you walk down the aisle, you need to find a swell boy to go steady with. 

While at first it seems like she is merely reciting the debutante's guidebook from the 50's, closer examination of the article reveals that this young girl is actually providing an insightful, cleverly sarcastic critique of the "expectations of womanhood".

This is evident when Hazel talks about the unspoken bathroom etiquette that should exist and be understood between men and women, the "future plan" of finding a good, hard-working husband for whom you will tirelessly bake perfect souffles, and raising impossibly obedient children with shiny, happy faces and a can-do attitude.

I was really impressed with how this young girl was able to say what the feminist movement has been preaching for years with such style. It's like Feminism 101 for the new generation. 

This month's theme on Rookie is transformation. Click through and see all the things you wish your mother had told you while you were growing up!


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